Picture of first sit-in August 13, 1960 and closed lunch counter. “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!” More »

Civil Rights Marker in downtown Jacksonville-Hemming Park/Plaza. More »

With Stetson Kennedy and Wayne Greenhaw. More »

Members of the 1960 Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP TODAY---with Marjorie Meeks Brown, Dr. Arnett E. Girardeau, Iona Godfrey King, Rometa Graham Porter, Isaac Carnes, Alton Yates. More »

With NAACP National Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins in 1960 when he spoke in Jacksonville at one of the NAACP Mass Meetings. More »

Receiving Bronze Medal as a Florida Book Awards Winner--with Wayne Wiegand. More »

With Dr. Michael Eric Dyson-Speaker at the 2009 Jacksonville Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. More »

Speaker-City of Jacksonville Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast More »

With Dr. Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice...and the Speaker at the 2008 Jacksonville Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. Dr. Ogletree taught both Michelle Obama and President Obama at Harvard Law School. More »

Ruby Hurley and Ella Baker, two of 12 Civil Rights Icons immortalized in the 2009 USPS Stamp Issue-Civil Rights Pioneers. More »

Mrs. Ruby Hurley, Southeastern Regional Director NAACP and our 1960 NAACP Youth Council Surrogate Mother. More »

With Civil Rights Icon and Congressman John Lewis More »

50th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1960 Sit-ins and Ax Handle Saturday with members of the 1960 Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP. From left...Issac Carnes, Marjorie Meeks Brown, Mary Chisholm Underwood, Iona Godfrey King, and Ann Albertie Hurst (yep my wife). In the rear of the Pulpit area at Bethel Baptist Institutional Church...from left...Ms. Adora Nweze, President of the Florida State Conference of Branches NAACP; Rev. Dr. Randolph Bracy; Isaiah Rumlin, President of the Jacksonville Branch; and Bethel Senior Co-Pastor, Bishop Rudolph McKissick Sr. More »

Jacksonville Branch NAACP 2012 Freedom Fund Dinner More »

With Dr. Jelani Cobb at the 98th ASALH Annual Convention in Jacksonville October 2-6, 2013. More »

Dr. Johnnetta Cole, Speaker at the 2013 ASALH National Convention Banquet in Jacksonville, Florida. More »

Dr. Robert Hayling, Me, and Charlie Cobb at the 2014 Florida Heritage Book Festival for our presentation on the Civil Rights/Freedom Summer Movement. More »

 

Racism? YES!!

Tennis’s Top Women Balance Body Image With Ambition


https://scontent-atl1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/11745517_10153253497611773_759406119170969612_n.jpg?oh=0b9722ab23f8d6bc04e787ae0ea99653&oe=561274F8

 Let me remind you of a few of your words:

"Williams, who will be vying for the Wimbledon title against Garbiñe Muguruza on Saturday, has large biceps and a mold-breaking muscular frame, which packs the power and athleticism that have dominated women’s tennis for years. Her rivals could try to emulate her physique, but most of them choose not to."

How interesting that a female brain and female athletic guile have nothing to do with winning on the athletic field of endeavor. To you it is all brawn.  How did you say it? Oh yeah… “large biceps and a mold-breaking muscular frame.”

White males really do not understand their own racism as your writing in The Times clearly attest. Of course, I can also add White privilege and the ridiculous point in your article about White femininity and symbolic imagery. And as someone said, “If you think it's JUST about looks you're missing the racism of the article.” Since White Males —European and American—were responsible for Slavery, they certainly do not want to acknowledge the Black Female body unless they are talking about her as a SEX OBJECT and correspondingly spending time with her—or wanting to anyway—in bed.

Let's face it, this conversation ONLY occurs because Serena is THE dominant player in a sport dominated by White Males and White Females. The fact SHE IS A BLACK SUPERSTAR in an arena where Blacks are usually not welcome makes her as criticized as THE BLACK PRESIDENT. Total Domination …and …Tennis is not a major sport in the Black Community. Many Whites talk about equality but they really cannot stand to acknowledge the excellence of anyone BLACK on their ever eroding TURF. Of course, you cannot see this as your article clearly shows.

I do not take your comments as a starting point or a forum for additional conversations on race.  It is obvious you did not either. You are not a person I would choose to talk to about race.  No teachable moment with you.  Unfortunately as a reporter, you simply do not understand, and ignorance is no excuse for racism or a lack of understanding about racism. Your comments to me simply confirm what most think about newspaper writers today and that is they have a lack of integrity. There are also those who feel newspapers no longer serve a usefulness and that their reporters write to  appeal to the supporters of the unfurled “rag” some red meat-eaters call the Star and Bars.

And dare I say “Racism” in the newsroom and the sports room and because White reporters simply do not understand? Well…let me say it…Ben Rothenberg, you simply do not understand!

Go out and have another good day!

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.



I Racist

 

What follows is the text of a “sermon” given by John Metta as a “congregational reflection” to an all White audience at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 28th. 


A couple weeks ago, I was debating what I was going to talk about in this sermon. I told Pastor Kelly Ryan I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day.

Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.

You see, I don’t talk about race with White people. To illustrate why, I’ll tell a story:

It was probably about 15 years ago when a conversation took place between my aunt, who is White and lives in New York State, and my sister, who is Black and lives in North Carolina. This conversation can be distilled to a single sentence, said by my Black sister:

“The only difference between people in The North and people in The South is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”

There was a lot more to that conversation, obviously, but I suggest that it can be distilled into that one sentence because it has been, by my White aunt. Over a decade later, this sentence is still what she talks about. It has become the single most important aspect of my aunt’s relationship with my Black family. She is still hurt by the suggestion that people in New York, that she, a northerner, a liberal, a good person who has Black family members, is a racist.

This perfectly illustrates why I don’t talk about race with White people. Even– or rather, especially– my own family.

I love my aunt. She’s actually my favorite aunt, and believe me, I have a lot of awesome aunts to choose from. But the facts are actually quite in my sister’s favor on this one.

New York State is one of the most segregated states in the country. Buffalo, New York where my aunt lives is one of the 10 most segregated school systems in the country. The racial inequality of the area she inhabits is so bad that it has been the subject of reports by the Civil Rights Action Network and the NAACP.

Those, however, are facts that my aunt does not need to know. She does not need to live with the racial segregation and oppression of her home. As a white person with upward mobility, she has continued to improve her situation. She moved out of the area I grew up in– she moved to an area with better schools. She doesn’t have to experience racism, and so it is not real to her.

Nor does it dawn on her that the very fact that she moved away from an increasingly Black neighborhood to live in a White suburb might itself be a aspect of racism. She doesn’t need to realize that “better schools” exclusively means “whiter schools.”

I don’t talk about race with White people because I have so often seen it go nowhere. When I was younger, I thought it was because all white people are racist. Recently, I’ve begun to understand that it’s more nuanced than that.

To understand, you have to know that Black people think in terms of Black people. We don’t see a shooting of an innocent Black child in another state as something separate from us because we know viscerally that it could be our child, our parent, or us, that is shot.

The shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston resonated with me because Walter Scott was portrayed in the media as a deadbeat and a criminal– but when you look at the facts about the actual man, he was nearly indistinguishable from my own father.

Racism affects us directly because the fact that it happened at a geographically remote location or to another Black person is only a coincidence, an accident. It could just as easily happen to us- right here, right now.

Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.

White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.” Whites are often not directly affected by racial oppression even in their own community, so what does not affect them locally has little chance of affecting them regionally or nationally. They have no need, nor often any real desire, to think in terms of a group. They are supported by the system, and so are mostly unaffected by it.

What they are affected by are attacks on their own character. To my aunt, the suggestion that “people in The North are racist” is an attack on her as a racist. She is unable to differentiate her participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that she, individually, is a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.

The result of this is an incessantly repeating argument where a Black person says “Racism still exists. It is real,” and a white person argues “You’re wrong, I’m not racist at all. I don’t even see any racism.” My aunt’s immediate response is not “that is wrong, we should do better.” No, her response is self-protection: “That’s not my fault, I didn’t do anything. You are wrong.”

Racism is not slavery. As President Obama said, it’s not avoiding the use of the word Nigger. Racism is not white water fountains and the back of the bus. Martin Luther King did not end racism. Racism is a cop severing the spine of an innocent man. It is a 12 year old child being shot for playing with a toy gun in a state where it is legal to openly carry firearms.

But racism is even more subtle than that. It’s more nuanced. Racism is the fact that “White” means “normal” and that anything else is different. Racism is our acceptance of an all white Lord of the Rings cast because of “historical accuracy,” ignoring the fact that this is a world with an entirely fictionalized history.

Even when we make shit up, we want it to be white.

And racism is the fact that we all accept that it is white. Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan in Star Trek. Khan, who is from India. Is there anyone Whiter than Benedict fucking Cumberbatch? What? They needed a “less racial” cast because they already had the Black Uhura character?

That is racism. Once you let yourself see it, it’s there all the time.

Black children learn this when their parents give them “The Talk.” When they are sat down at the age of 5 or so and told that their best friend’s father is not sick, and not in a bad mood– he just doesn’t want his son playing with you. Black children grow up early to life in The Matrix. We’re not given a choice of the red or blue pill. Most white people, like my aunt, never have to choose. The system was made for White people, so White people don’t have to think about living in it.

But we can’t point this out.

Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or– playing the race card. Or even worse, we’re told that we are being racist (Does any intelligent person actually believe a systematically oppressed demographic has the ability to oppress those in power?)

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.

Ask any Black person and they’ll tell you the same thing. The reality of thousands of innocent people raped, shot, imprisoned, and systematically disenfranchised are less important than the suggestion that a single White person might be complicit in a racist system.

This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings.

White people and Black people are not having a discussion about race. Black people, thinking as a group, are talking about living in a racist system. White people, thinking as individuals, refuse to talk about “I, racist” and instead protect their own individual and personal goodness. In doing so, they reject the existence of racism.

But arguing about personal non-racism is missing the point.

Despite what the Charleston Massacre makes things look like, people are dying not because individuals are racist, but because individuals are helping support a racist system by wanting to protect their own non-racist self beliefs.

People are dying because we are supporting a racist system that justifies White people killing Black people.

We see this in the way that one Muslim killer is a sign of Islamic terror; in the way one Mexican thief is a pointer to the importance of border security; in one innocent, unarmed Black man is shot in the back by a cop, then sullied in the media as a thug and criminal.

And in the way a white racist in a state that still flies the confederate flag is seen as “troubling” and “unnerving.” In the way people “can’t understand why he would do such a thing.”

A white person smoking pot is a “Hippie” and a Black person doing it is a “criminal.” It’s evident in the school to prison pipeline and the fact that there are close to 20 people of color in prison for every white person.

There’s a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: “Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

I’m gonna read that again: “Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

Did you catch that? It’s beautifully subtle. This is an article talking specifically about the different way we treat people of color in this nation and even in this article’s headline, the white people are “shooters” and the Black and Muslim people are “killers.”

Even when we’re talking about racism, we’re using racist language to make people of color look dangerous and make White people come out as not so bad.

Just let that sink in for a minute, then ask yourself why Black people are angry when they talk about race.

The reality of America is that White people are fundamentally good, and so when a white person commits a crime, it is a sign that they, as an individual, are bad. Their actions as a person are not indicative of any broader social construct. Even the fact that America has a growing number of violent hate groups, populated mostly by white men, and that nearly *all* serial killers are white men can not shadow the fundamental truth of white male goodness. In fact, we like White serial killers so much, we make mini-series about them.

White people are good as a whole, and only act badly as individuals.

People of color, especially Black people (but boy we can talk about “The Mexicans” in this community) are seen as fundamentally bad. There might be a good one– and we are always quick to point them out to our friends, show them off as our Academy Award for “Best Non-Racist in a White Role”– but when we see a bad one, it’s just proof that the rest are, as a rule, bad.

This, all of this, expectation, treatment, thought, the underlying social system that puts White in the position of Normal and good, and Black in the position of “other” and “bad,” all of this, is racism.

And White people, every single one of you, are complicit in this racism because you benefit directly from it.

This is why I don’t like the story of the good samaritan. Everyone likes to think of themselves as the person who sees someone beaten and bloodied and helps him out.

That’s too easy.

If I could re-write that story, I’d rewrite it from the perspective of Black America. What if the person wasn’t beaten and bloody? What if it wasn’t so obvious? What if they were just systematically challenged in a thousand small ways that actually made it easier for you to succeed in life?

Would you be so quick to help then, or would you, like most White people, stay silent and let it happen.

Here’s what I want to say to you: Racism is so deeply embedded in this country not because of the racist right-wing radicals who practice it openly, it exists because of the silence and hurt feelings of liberal America.

That’s what I want to say, but really, I can’t. I can’t say that because I’ve spent my life not talking about race to White people. In a big way, it’s my fault. Racism exists because I, as a Black person, don’t challenge you to look at it.

Racism exists because I, not you, am silent.

But I’m caught in the perfect Catch 22, because when I start pointing out racism, I become the Angry Black Person, and the discussion shuts down again. So I’m stuck.

All the Black voices in the world speaking about racism all the time do not move White people to think about it– but one White John Stewart talking about Charleston has a whole lot of White people talking about it. That’s the world we live in. Black people can’t change it while White people are silent and deaf to our words.

White people are in a position of power in this country because of racism. The question is: Are they brave enough to use that power to speak against the system that gave it to them?

So I’m asking you to help me. Notice this. Speak up. Don’t let it slide. Don’t stand watching in silence. Help build a world where it never gets to the point where the Samaritan has to see someone bloodied and broken.

As for me, I will no longer be silent. I’m going to try to speak kindly, and softly, but that’s gonna be hard. Because it’s getting harder and harder for me to think about the protection of White people’s feelings when White people don’t seem to care at all about the loss of so many Black lives.

Additional Commentary Not Necessary.  The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Secede South Carolina…and LOSE Again!

Ahhh South Carolina. You must read these comments.

South Carolina lawmakers voted early Thursday morning to take down the Confederate flag, and Gov. Nikki Haley heard from hundreds of angry racists.

The Republican governor announced the vote on her Facebook page and thanked lawmakers for serving the state with “great dignity.”

However, many of her former supporters strongly disagreed.

“I’ve never been so ashamed of my State as I am right now,” Cody Burr said.

“Sad day in south Carolina because of you nikki haley. S.m.h. very disrespectful,” posted Jessica Hodge Summerlin on the governor’s Facebook page.

“I don’t understand how such a republican governor can take away one of the important things for our state. Why? Because it offends people?” said Caitlyn Ainsley Foulker. “Well, a lot offends me, but I don’t see you banning that too. What about what the rest of most of this state wants?”

“Dear Governor, if you really represent a unified South Carolina and are only here to serve her people how come no one in Columbia felt that this important and deep rooted issue was appropriate to be handled in referendum by the people who gave you your job?” Travis Crenshaw said.

“I would not vote for you again. Ever,” Randy Smith. “Would you have so much ‘courage’ if you were in your first term? You’ve done more to divide SC than any single person in our history. To think i wasted my votes on you for SC House, and Governor, twice.”

“Cowardice in the South Carolina Governors office and thy name is Nikki Haley,” Jim Madsen said.

“Speak for your self, I don’t think you care about South Carolina, you are picking and choosing, must be going for a Senate seat, I screwed up and voted for you, but not again,” Becky Griffith Leapard said. “You are good at one think and that’s disrespecting Our Confedrate Veterans. Sad day in South Carolina, you are reminding me of Obama, ruining as much as you can while you are in office!!!”

“You heal by executing Justice on the perp, not stripping law abiding citizens off their rights,” said Leslie Hicks Bennet. “You have set the precedent in your state, but it is very unlikely you have heard the last from your constituents.”

“Nikki Haley, you have let a lot of the people in South Carolina down,” said Patsy Turner Welborn. “We voted for you, because we felt you would represent our State proudly. The flag did not kill anyone. It is part of the South’s Heritage. So if you do away with the flag then I can think of a lot of other things that need to be done away with.”

“I am disappointed in you governor I will be so glad when your term ends,” said Nathaniel Nat Brown. “You are not the greatest governor I thought you were.”

“I’m not proud of South Carolina,” said Kim Vaughn Myers. “Tell me how removing the flag is going to bring ‘us’ closer together and help heal anything… From what I’ve seen, it’s tearing ‘us’ apart…”

“I’m afraid you have separated more than you have brought together that flag had no problem in the month of May but Obama called to take it down and our state leaders crumbled like a house of cards!” said Allen Brandon. “This tragedy had nothing to do with the flag but it was one young man that is mentally ill and full of hate! That massacre had nothing to do with the flag or the Second Amendment. This sick young man would have done what he did with out either!”

“It is a crying shame that our state has come to this point,” said Jeffrey Steele. “This will not bring the state together. If anything, it will divide us even further. I am so ashamed of our House and Senate tonight because they caved on this issue. Removing this flag will not stop racism. Many politicians have lost my vote today because of their decision on this issue. Not only did they vote to remove part of our history, they also used a tragic event in Charleston, SC to push an agenda that they otherwise couldn’t get support for.”

“You are a politically correct brown noser, bowing to the ingrates, ignorant, and uneducated!” said Barbara Mitchell. “Hard to believe you are even a governor, and still be so ignorant of true history! My Battle flag will continue to fly!”

“I must say it’s a SAD day in what used to be the best state in the best country!” said Joe New II. “I was a huge backer of Mrs. Hailey until now. Ignorance of history has blinded so many that the truth has been lost! I’ve always voted republican and was a major backer of gov. Hailey. Just wish I knew then what I know now! Once again the minority has ruled over the majority with out giving us any say so. When will we be heard? This is a travesty! Most of my family fought and died for that flag and you show them no respect by your actions! Shame on you! This is far from over. We have rolled over and have been kicked to the curve too many times. I hope you can rest well knowing you have disgraced the memory and life’s of the 620,000 who died fighting under that flag and fighting for a deep rooted southern value system that truly had nothing to do with hate, slavery, nor the church shooting. The s$#t pot has been stirred now let’s see who has to lick the spoon!

Maybe Just Maybe, South Carolina will declare war…fire on another United States military installation …and Secede. It would solve a lot of problems. And the South WILL lose again!

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

HOLD YOUR NOSE!

I was TV channel surfing this morning because Melissa Harris-Perry's show was not on. But no matter how you might try, you cannot watch these Sunday morning talk shows. Even on MSNBC this morning the host was an absolutely joke and the "expert panelists" were even worse. In their quest I guess to appear "fair and balanced" —heard that before–they dredged up a former Bush-Cheney Liar who offered only republicant talking points —of course—about Republicant candidates for President. The additional panelists offered nothing. Like a nod nod and a wink wink. And they were initially talking about Donald Trump. The conversation evolved literally from the sublime to the more sublime.

Chuck "Doofus" Todd this morning on Meet The Press interviewed Ted "I can Lie as often as I want " Cruz. You could not stomach more than a few minutes of Chuck Todd's softball questions and his allowing Ted Cruz to say anything he wanted to say. Of course Chuck Todd has famously said it is not his responsibility to call out Republicants when they Lie. He said it is the Democrat's responsibility to correct them, not him. His job is to just sit there as a nonplussed disinterested traffic cop of sorts. He does not even do a good job of that; so joining the police force is not an option for his career change. Or Maybe It Does!
Class "C" network entertainment shows masquerading as Class "D" news talk shows. Watch at your Peril!!

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Conscientious Stupidity!!

http://crooksandliars.com/2015/06/cnn-asks-should-president-obama-apologize

Conscientiously Stupid CNN Showcase House Nigger Don Lemon showed again last night why he is as ignorant as he is uninformed. It wasn't enough for him to agree with a White Op-ed columnist for the New York Times —who thinks he is an expert on race —that President Obama should apologize for slavery, but that he should do it because it would have redemptive value. When asked to comment, Sirius Talk Show Host Joe Madison laid the both of them out with on point two words, "Hell NO!" Joe added, “This is absolutely the most absurd thing that I have ever heard. And let me say this: it’s not gonna happen.”

Don Lemon is a total embarrassment as a host of anything and this writer for the New York Times is an example why most newspapers and their reporters have already gone to Hell In A Hand Basket. Save me from another White Expert on what is best for Blacks.

The Insidiousness of asking a Black President to apologize for what Whites did to people who look like him really boggles the mind. But once again Whites want absolution for THEIR SINS by asking Blacks to forgive them. Forgive them for killing us with guns. Forgive them for killing us with bombs. Forgive them for killing us with fire. Forgive them for beating us to death. Forgive them for lynching us. Just Forgive Forgive Forgive. SORRY. We cannot forgive you for YOUR sins. Since you profess to be Christians, get on your knees and ask God to Forgive you for Creating Slavery…For Creating the Nadir Of Race Relations…For Creating Jim Crow laws…for Creating Racism…And for Creating the American Institution or Racism. Then tell God you need to start working on reparations to make up for the wealth you stole from millions of enslaved persons. When you do that…we can start talking. Until then—SHUT THE HELL UP.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Racists Blame Blacks For Their Racism

Once again a Racist Blames President Obama for the Charleston Killings

Image of Larry Klayman via official Freedom Watch bio

We know Racists are ignorant and stupid, and they are also dangerous. Larry Klayman, this ignorant stupid and dangerous lawyer has made a living on being ignorant stupid and dangerous. And of course, he blames President Obama for the shooting in South Carolina. He accused Obama and other prominent Blacks of creating an “atmosphere of anger” that provoked racist attacks against Black victims. It is OUR fault for Whites perpetrating deadly violence on US. Always blame the Black Victims.

Once again, Racists will blame Blacks and especially President Obama for their being racists. Today's racists are simply an extension of a long line of racists that date back to slavery. Slavery was not born of racism; rather, racism was the consequence of slavery. Blacks cannot eliminate racism. We did not start racism. We cannot end racism. Whites started racism. Whites own Racism. What Whites need to deal with is how long will they allow racism to permeate the very fiber of America.

 

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

America should stop forgiving white racists

The morgue tag was still on Sharonda Coleman-Singleton’s toe when her teenage children stood in front of news cameras and said they had forgiven Dylann Roof for murdering his mother in cold blood.

The grieving teens’ absolution of Roof came not more than 72 hours after a white terrorist sat inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for an hour watching their mother pray to God. Instead of accepting the welcoming arms and love offered by the community, the gunman shot her and eight others to death.

“We already forgive him for what he’s done, and there’s nothing but love from our side of the family,” her son Chris said.

His sister Camryn added: “I just feel a lot of love. I’m a little bitter, but I’m overwhelmed with love.”

The spirit of forgiveness would continue at Roof’s bond hearing. In a gut-wrenching display of pain and tears, more relatives of those slain in the attack spoke to Roof, something that is not unusual in South Carolina’s courts. While many people would have rightfully spoken of outrage and a yearning for revenge, the families offered words of comfort and redemption.

[‘I forgive you.’ Relatives of Charleston church shooting victims address Dylann Roof]

“May God have mercy on you,” said Felecia Sanders. She survived the attack, but her son Tywanza died.

Anthony Thompson, the grandson of victim Myra Thompson, told Roof, “I forgive you, my family forgives you.”

A woman who identified herself as the daughter of Ethel Lance said, “I will never talk to her ever again. I will never hold her ever again. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you. I forgive you.”

Recognizing the agency in their words, and the different ways people grieve, the parade of forgiveness is disconcerting to say the least.

While former Texas governor Rick Perry has called the killings in Charleston an “accident,” Fox News and others have denied the racial implications, and FBI Director James Comey has questioned the veracity of describing the tragedy as “terrorism,” all seemingly affording Roof a level of forgiveness and innocence, these families have offered salvation without any conditions or rewriting of reality. The message of grace and love was echoed on the Sunday morning news coverage of Emanuel AME’s first church service since the attack.

Even in a slaughter of innocents, black people have to fight to have their humanity recognized. This is a case that should not be parsed to death. These were not people of questionable repute, reportedly reaching for a gun or doing anything that could remotely be described in the greatest stretches as doing anything that could justify – even lamely – the gunman’s behavior. People want to blame the killer’s mental stability, some external “they” or “society” or define what he did as an attack on Christianity rather than the racist terrorism that it is.

[President Obama calls Charleston shooting ‘senseless,’ criticizes gun laws]

Forgiveness has become a requirement for those enduring the realities of black death in America. Black families are expected to grieve as a public spectacle, to offer comfort, redemption, and a pathway to a new day. The parents of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Mike Brown and the widow of Eric Garner were all asked in interviews if they’d forgive the white men who killed their loved one.

Historically, black churches have nurtured the politics of forgiveness so that black people can anticipate divine justice and liberation in the next life. This sentiment shaped non-violent protest during the civil rights movement. A belief that displays of morality rooted in forgiveness would force white America to leave behind its racist assumptions. But Christian or non-Christian, black people are not allowed to express unbridled grief or rage, even under the most horrific circumstances.

For these Christians whose deep faith tradition holds forgiveness as a core principle, offering absolution to Roof is about relieving the burden of anger and pain of being victimized. In this regard, forgiveness functions as a kind of protest, a refusal to be reduced to victims. It sends the message to the killer that he may have hurt them, but they are the true victors because they have not been destroyed.

Yet, the almost reflective demand of forgiveness, especially for those dealing with death by racism, is about protecting whiteness, and America as a whole. This is yet another burden for black America.

After 9/11, there was no talk about forgiving al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. America declared war, sought blood and revenge, and rushed protective measures into place to prevent future attacks.

As the Atlantic Monthly, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates noted on Twitter: “Can’t remember any campaign to ‘love’ and ‘forgive’ in the wake of ISIS beheadings.”

No one expects Jewish people to forgive the Nazis or contemporary anti-Semitic acts. But black people are held to an impossibly higher standard. This rush to forgive — before grieving, healing, processing or even waiting for the legal or judicial systems to process these crimes — and the expectations of black empathy for those who do great harm is deeply problematic.

Black pain is only heard after forgiveness is afforded to these white perpetrators. Black rage is challenged as inappropriate and unhelpful, while the media and others celebrate the traumatized family members’ ability to respond to this latest heinous crime with compassion and love.

When black forgiveness is the means for white atonement, it enables white denial about the harms that racist violence creates. When black redemption of white America is prioritized over justice and accountability, there is no chance of truth and reconciliation. It trivializes real black suffering, grief, and the heavy lifting required for any possibility of societal progress.

“Many people mistake black forgiveness for absolution of America’s racial sins,” says Chad Williams, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University. “I think the expectation that blacks are always willing to forgive makes it harder to engage in radical transformative social justice work.”

Our constant forgiveness perpetuates the cycle of attacks and abuse, a form of “survivorship” that is numbing our cognitive and emotional clarity. It’s really a distorted response to living under the constant terror and trauma of being black in America. Repeatedly forgiving the people who keep murdering us is a desperate preemptive move to try to prevent more white harm to black persons, and it doesn’t necessarily translate to acceptance.

Matthew P. Guteral, an historian of race at Brown University, says: “For all the public talk about supposedly absent black fathers and derelict black culture, the extraordinary act of forgiveness might remind us that the nation’s most historically oppressed group does a better job of doing what we all say we want most: being decent and human. Even when it seems impossible. We cannot say the same thing about whiteness or what we should call white culture, which insists it is superior, expects this kind of forgiveness, and isn’t equipped to understand it as anything but a sign of weakness.”

If we really believe that black lives matter, we won’t devalue our reality and cheapen our forgiveness by giving it away so quickly and easily. Black people should learn to embrace our full range of human emotions, vocalize our rage, demand to be heard, and expect accountability. White America needs to earn our forgiveness, as we practice legitimate self-preservation.

Black lives will never be safe — or truly matter — and we won’t break the centuries long cycle of racial violence if we keep making white racial salvation our responsibility.

By Stacey Patton.

Stacey Patton is a senior enterprise reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, an adjunct professor of American history at American University, and the author of "That Mean Old Yesterday."

Nothing more to say…The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

So You Think You Know Racism and We Don’t?

Whites as neutral observers on race?

MEMO TO WHITE FOLKS AND ESPECIALLY THOSE ON TALK SHOWS.
You cannot explain Racism. You perpetuate Racism. You cannot define Racism even though You invented Racism. You cannot criticize Racism because You created Racism. You imposed Racism on enslaved Africans because you could. You imposed Jim Crow on Freed Africans and American Blacks because you could. You think you are the only neutral observers about race because that is what your White Privilege and your White Supremacy leads you to believe. You find a few Handkerchief Head negroes (small "n") who you pay to do your bidding today like you did during slavery. To paraphrase Harriet Tubman, We still have House Niggers today. They just don't know they are House Niggers. Some know and don't care. The price is right.

Your White privilege really makes you think WE do not know Racism and your other vile ways of exacting violence et al when we have been the targets of that violence since slavery.
I USE THESE QUOTES in my upcoming book:
Two quotes from Tim Wise, anti-racism activist and writer, sum
it up:
“To believe that the United States is post-racial requires an
almost incomprehensible inability or unwillingness to stare truth in the face.”
And: “If you want to know if racism is a problem in your
country, you might not want to ask white people.”
Consider, also, this from Abraham Joshua Heschelm, rabbi, theologian, and participant in the march from Selma to Montgomery: “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man—the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”

ANOTHER MEMO TO WHITE FOLKS: You are not neutral about Race and Racism. You are not experts on racism. Far from it. You are never impartial on matters of race. You broke them…You bought them.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

No Forgiveness For Racism, Racist Murders, and Racist Murderers!!!

Dylann Roof

I do not forgive RACIST Thugs. Their Violence and their Racism go far beyond forgiveness. Forgiveness during these vile circumstances also helps other Whites too so they will not have to bear the burden of another thuggish racist act.

Whites are always quick to ask Blacks to forgive …yet they do not apologize for Racism…for Core Racist Attitudes …and certainly America has never apologized for slavery. Blacks do not have these overabundance of hate groups directed at Whites. Whites have the overabundance of hate groups directed at Blacks. Yet most Whites DO NOT speak against these groups and certainly not against the Ku Klux Klan.

Slavery created racism and White Supremacy. Most Whites do not deal with slavery and the fact their much romanticized Civil War was fought because of slavery. The whole notion of Southern Heritage is a testimony to slavery and hatred. Most Whites feel slavery occurred because of Africans and they are absolved. If Whites were THAT spiritual to begin with we would not have to deal with Racist violence over the centuries. Some of your biggest Racists stand in the pulpit on Sundays.

Remember MURDERER DYLAN STORM ROOF  said He WANTED TO START A RACE WAR. So he cowardly went to a Black church to start his race war. If he really wanted to get something started, I am quite sure he could have found some Blacks OUTSIDE OF CHURCH who would have been more than willing to accommodate  him. So NO forgiveness for Racist perpetrators generally, and this Cowardly Racist perpetrator in particular.

Couch it anyway you want to…This thug killed Blacks in a Black Church because of White Supremacy…White Privilege…and a hatred which knows no bounds. And you want forgiveness? Did you ask the Jews to forgive Hitler and his Nazi band of Degenerates? Whether it is on me to forgive or not, You get No Forgiveness from Me notwithstanding what the various grieving families did. Racism and the Hatred it delivers does not deserve forgiveness.

Racist Terrorist Violence and Black History

It is unfortunate it took the recent terrorist murders in Charleston South Carolina at Emanuel AME Church to again focus on racism and again focus on Black History yet it did.

The victims are:

Image:The Reverend Honorable Clementa C. Pinckney

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41: A state senator and the senior pastor of Emanuel, he was married to Jennifer Benjamin and the father of two children, Eliana and Malana. He was a 1995 graduate of Allen University and got his master's degree at the University of South Carolina in 1999. He served in the state Legislature starting in 2000; The Post and Courier says black fabric was draped over Pinckney's Senate chamber seat on Thursday.

Cynthia Hurd, 54: According to the Charleston County Public Library, she was a 31-year employee who managed the John L. Dart Library for 21 years before heading the St. Andrews Regional Library. A statement said Hurd "dedicated her life to serving and improving the lives of others." The system closed its 16 branches Thursday to honor Hurd and the others who died in the shooting. County officials also say the St. Andrews library will be named for Hurd.

The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45: A pastor at Emanuel, she was also a speech therapist and high school girls track and field coach, both positions at Goose Creek High School, according to her LinkedIn page. Jimmy Huskey, the school's principal, called her "a true professional … [who] cared about her students and was an advocate for them." Her son, Chris Singleton, is a baseball player and student at Charleston Southern University. Coleman-Singleton also had two younger children, writes the Post and Courier.

Tywanza Sanders, 26: He was a 2014 graduate in business administration from Allen University in Columbia. Lady June Cole, the interim president of Allen University, described him as "a quiet, well-known student who was committed to his education." Known as Ty, he had worked in sales at department stores such as Belk and Macy's.

Ethel Lance, 70: She had attended Emanuel for most of her life and worked there as a custodian, as well. From 1968 to 2002, she worked as a custodian at Charleston's Gaillard Municipal Auditorium. The Post and Courier quotes a former colleague as saying, "She was funny and a pleasure to be around. And she was a wonderful mother and grandmother."

Susie Jackson, 87: Lance's cousin, she was a longtime church member.

Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49: The mother of four sang in Emanuel's choir. She had previously directed a community development program in Charleston County. In December, she started a new job as an admissions coordinator at the Charleston campus of her alma mater, Southern Wesleyan University. SWU President Todd Voss said: "Always a warm and enthusiastic leader, DePayne truly believed in the mission of SWU to help students achieve their potential by connecting faith with learning. Our prayers go out to family and friends. This is a great loss for our students and the Charleston region."

The Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74: Simmons survived the initial attack but then died in a hospital operating room. He had previously been a pastor at another church in the Charleston area.

Myra Thompson, 59: She was the wife of the Rev. Anthony Thompson, the vicar of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Emanuel AME Church is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the South, and is called "Mother Emanuel."

Rev. Morris Brown, who would become the second Bishop of the AME Church, founded Emanuel AME Church in 1818 with African American former members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, who left the church because of a dispute over burial grounds. The white churches, particularly the Methodist Episcopal Church, had increasingly discriminated against them in the prior years, and "capped the insult when they built a hearse house on the black burial ground."

Morris Brown was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 13, 1770. His family belonged to a sizable African American population in the city who were mostly enslaved.  Brown’s parents, however, were part the city’s tiny free black community.  In the year of Brown’s birth, more than 5,800 enslaved blacks and 24 free blacks resided in the city, compared to a total of 5,030 whites.  Within this city where African Americans were the majority, Brown’s family circulated within an elite black society, whose members were often so closely related to aristocratic whites in the city that they were exempt from the racist restrictions imposed on the majority of enslaved people.

In 1822, Brown and Emanuel AME came under investigation during the Denmark Vesey controversy.  The previous year, Vesey, a freed slave, organized a slave uprising in the city.  Informed of the plot, white authorities arrested hundreds of alleged participants and a white mob burned the church building to the ground. Rev. Brown was implicated in the plot, but was never convicted.  Shortly after the Vesey incident, Rev. Brown, his wife Bella, and their two sons, Morris, Jr. and Malcolm, left the south and settled in Philadelphia. Upon the death of Bishop Richard Allen in 1831, Brown took over the pastorate at AME Bethel Church, becoming the second bishop of the AME church.   
Meanwhile the congregation in Charleston rebuilt Emanuel AME Church and worshiped there until 1834, when the city banned all African American churches. – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/brown-morris-1770-1849#sthash.mVXsNGJE.dpuf

In 1822, Brown and Emanuel AME came under investigation during the Denmark Vesey controversy.  The previous year, Vesey, a freed slave, organized a slave uprising in the city.  Informed of the plot, white authorities arrested hundreds of alleged participants and a white mob burned the church building to the ground. Rev. Brown was implicated in the plot, but was never convicted.  Shortly after the Vesey incident, Rev. Brown, his wife Bella, and their two sons, Morris, Jr. and Malcolm, left the south and settled in Philadelphia. Upon the death of Bishop Richard Allen in 1831, Brown took over the pastorate at AME Bethel Church, becoming the second bishop of the AME church.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

In 1822, Brown and Emanuel AME came under investigation during the Denmark Vesey controversy.  The previous year, Vesey, a freed slave, organized a slave uprising in the city.  Informed of the plot, white authorities arrested hundreds of alleged participants and a white mob burned the church building to the ground. Rev. Brown was implicated in the plot, but was never convicted.  Shortly after the Vesey incident, Rev. Brown, his wife Bella, and their two sons, Morris, Jr. and Malcolm, left the south and settled in Philadelphia. Upon the death of Bishop Richard Allen in 1831, Brown took over the pastorate at AME Bethel Church, becoming the second bishop of the AME church.   
Meanwhile the congregation in Charleston rebuilt Emanuel AME Church and worshiped there until 1834, when the city banned all African American churches. – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/brown-morris-1770-1849#sthash.mVXsNGJE.dpuf
In 1822, Brown and Emanuel AME came under investigation during the Denmark Vesey controversy.  The previous year, Vesey, a freed slave, organized a slave uprising in the city.  Informed of the plot, white authorities arrested hundreds of alleged participants and a white mob burned the church building to the ground. Rev. Brown was implicated in the plot, but was never convicted.  Shortly after the Vesey incident, Rev. Brown, his wife Bella, and their two sons, Morris, Jr. and Malcolm, left the south and settled in Philadelphia. Upon the death of Bishop Richard Allen in 1831, Brown took over the pastorate at AME Bethel Church, becoming the second bishop of the AME church.   
Meanwhile the congregation in Charleston rebuilt Emanuel AME Church and worshiped there until 1834, when the city banned all African American churches. – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/brown-morris-1770-1849#sthash.mVXsNGJE.dpuf
In 1822, Brown and Emanuel AME came under investigation during the Denmark Vesey controversy.  The previous year, Vesey, a freed slave, organized a slave uprising in the city.  Informed of the plot, white authorities arrested hundreds of alleged participants and a white mob burned the church building to the ground. Rev. Brown was implicated in the plot, but was never convicted.  Shortly after the Vesey incident, Rev. Brown, his wife Bella, and their two sons, Morris, Jr. and Malcolm, left the south and settled in Philadelphia. Upon the death of Bishop Richard Allen in 1831, Brown took over the pastorate at AME Bethel Church, becoming the second bishop of the AME church.   
Meanwhile the congregation in Charleston rebuilt Emanuel AME Church and worshiped there until 1834, when the city banned all African American churches. – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/brown-morris-1770-1849#sthash.mVXsNGJE.dpuf
Morris Brown was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 13, 1770. His family belonged to a sizeable African American population in the city who were mostly enslaved.  Brown’s parents, however, were part the city’s tiny free black community.  In the year of Brown’s birth, more than 5,800 enslaved blacks and 24 free blacks resided in the city, compared to a total of 5,030 whites.  Within this city where African Americans were the majority, Brown’s family circulated within an elite black society, whose members were often so closely related to aristocratic whites in the city that they were exempt from the racist restrictions imposed on the majority of enslaved people.

A prosperous shoemaker by trade and charismatic religious leader, Brown travelled to Philadelphia to collaborate with the Rev. Richard Allen in the founding of the country’s first African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1816.  Brown worked tirelessly to forge an independent African Methodist Church in Charleston.  In 1818, Brown left a predominantly white but racially segregated Methodist Church in Charleston in protest against discrimination. More than 4,000 black members of the white churches in the city followed Brown to his new church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston, later named Emanuel AME Church.    – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/brown-morris-1770-1849#sthash.mVXsNGJE.dpuf

Morris Brown was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 13, 1770. His family belonged to a sizeable African American population in the city who were mostly enslaved.  Brown’s parents, however, were part the city’s tiny free black community.  In the year of Brown’s birth, more than 5,800 enslaved blacks and 24 free blacks resided in the city, compared to a total of 5,030 whites.  Within this city where African Americans were the majority, Brown’s family circulated within an elite black society, whose members were often so closely related to aristocratic whites in the city that they were exempt from the racist restrictions imposed on the majority of enslaved people.

A prosperous shoemaker by trade and charismatic religious leader, Brown travelled to Philadelphia to collaborate with the Rev. Richard Allen in the founding of the country’s first African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1816.  Brown worked tirelessly to forge an independent African Methodist Church in Charleston.  In 1818, Brown left a predominantly white but racially segregated Methodist Church in Charleston in protest against discrimination. More than 4,000 black members of the white churches in the city followed Brown to his new church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston, later named Emanuel AME Church.    – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/brown-morris-1770-1849#sthash.mVXsNGJE.dpuf

Morris Brown was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 13, 1770. His family belonged to a sizeable African American population in the city who were mostly enslaved.  Brown’s parents, however, were part the city’s tiny free black community.  In the year of Brown’s birth, more than 5,800 enslaved blacks and 24 free blacks resided in the city, compared to a total of 5,030 whites.  Within this city where African Americans were the majority, Brown’s family circulated within an elite black society, whose members were often so closely related to aristocratic whites in the city that they were exempt from the racist restrictions imposed on the majority of enslaved people.

A prosperous shoemaker by trade and charismatic religious leader, Brown travelled to Philadelphia to collaborate with the Rev. Richard Allen in the founding of the country’s first African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1816.  Brown worked tirelessly to forge an independent African Methodist Church in Charleston.  In 1818, Brown left a predominantly white but racially segregated Methodist Church in Charleston in protest against discrimination. More than 4,000 black members of the white churches in the city followed Brown to his new church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston, later named Emanuel AME Church.    – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/brown-morris-1770-1849#sthash.mVXsNGJE.dpuf